Myspace + Design: Getting its Sexy Back?

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Can design effect experience?

If you’ve been following rednow at all, you’ll know that we are deeply interested in the space where story, art, and/or design has the ability to shift or change perspective. While design leaves its mark throughout culture, it has made a significant impact on our society through the world of social media – more precisely, on the design of the interaction, function, and overall social media experience. Design has a greater audience than ever before thanks to this medium. This is largely due to the fact that social media is becoming increasingly more constant and intimate through access to technology and interaction design… i.e. When was the last time you looked at your phone?

The ability for interaction design to create an experience that is unique, intuitive, fun, attractive, and addictive is staggering and worthy of further exploration. It would be hard to  have a conversation about design and social experience without mentioning Myspace. In 2003, Myspace was obviously one of the early juggernauts of the social media explosion. But once thought to be an untouchable force of social interaction, its lack of design control and vision caused it to wither on the vine as fast as it rose to stardom. Now in its next phase, Myspace has done three things that seem fairly remarkable. First, it has decided to stay entertainment-focused and interact with other platforms. Second, it’s using the celebrity brand power of co-owner Justin Timberlake to raise awareness. Lastly, and most important, it is implementing a complete redesign that totally erases the old aesthetic from one’s memory.

Whether you’re a fan of Justin Timberlake or not, his presence alone will change many opinions of this faltering online destination (an intriguing discussion in and of itself). The redesign, however, has the potential to completely silence the naysayers and lure past users and others looking for a new experience. This intrigues us. More specifically, it captures how we as people are attracted to beauty, simplicity, and individuality (a frequent exploration here). The sites that have kept the most users and have lasted the longest understand how to use design to create a relationship with their user base and grow with them. As the market continues to get more crowded, it will shift more and more to simpler, easier, more beautifully designed experiences. This video is an invitation to change your perspective on what Myspace can do as it lures us with the promise of a beautiful experience.

As we watch this online community be redesigned from the ground up, we will be able to see how much design can make a difference in a re-launch. If the site’s design and interaction is actually anything like the video, Myspace could be back in the conversation. The question remains, however… Does the refresh shift you?